Aspirin is used to reduce fever and relieve mild to moderate pain from conditions such as muscle aches, toothaches, common cold, and headaches. It may also be used to reduce pain and swelling in conditions such as arthritis. Aspirin is known as a salicylate and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by blocking a certain natural substance in your body to reduce pain and swelling. Consult your doctor before treating a child younger than 12 years.
Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose of aspirin to prevent blood clots. This effect reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have recently had surgery on clogged arteries (such as bypass surgery, carotid endarterectomy, coronary stent), your doctor may direct you to use aspirin in low doses as a “blood thinner” to prevent blood clots.
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Upset stomach and heartburn may occur. If either of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, difficulty hearing, ringing in the ears, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), persistent or severe nausea/vomiting, unexplained tiredness, dizziness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
This drug may rarely cause serious bleeding from the stomach/intestine or other areas of the body. If you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects, seek immediate medical attention: black/tarry stools, persistent or severe stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes or severe headache.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
If you are taking this medication for self-treatment, follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist. If your doctor has directed you to take this medication, take it exactly as prescribed. Take this medication by mouth. Drink a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) with it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after you have taken this drug. If stomach upset occurs while you are taking this medication, you may take it with food or milk. Swallow enteric-coated tablets whole. Do not crush or chew enteric-coated tablets. Doing so can increase stomach upset. Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets or capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing. The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Read the product label to find recommendations on how many tablets you can take in a 24-hour period and how long you may self-treat before seeking medical advice. Do not take more medication or take it for longer than recommended unless directed by your doctor. Use the smallest effective dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. If you are taking this medication for self-treatment of headache, seek immediate medical attention if you also have slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, or sudden vision changes. Before using this drug, consult a doctor or pharmacist if you have headaches caused by head injury, coughing, or bending, or if you have a headache with persistent/severe vomiting, fever, and stiff neck.